The first time I had this whisky it was in a liquor store tasting bar, where I tasted some Ardbeg Corryvreckan – one of the biggest, most muscular peaty Scotches out there. I looked at Legacy and thought I might want to try it, but figured I wouldn’t have a chance at tasting anything after the Corryvreckan. However, I decided to try some, and was shocked to find that Wiser’s Legacy stood its ground with some brilliant rye and spice. The name “Legacy” is a tribute to Wiser’s founder, J.P. Wiser, and is based off one of his recipes.
The whisky is distilled in a pot still from a rye-rich mash, and matured in white oak barrels, which are toasted rather than charred. It works some magic in this fantastic whisky. It comes in the bottle at 45%, which is unusual for Canadian whisky, almost always bottled at 40%. It was also one of the first Canadian whiskies to enter into a “super-premium” category, which was small at the time (2010) and now includes many more additions (including many over the past few months with some new whiskies from Highwood distillers in Alberta, and Collingwood with the new 21 year old).
Nose: A nice big, bold and engaging nose. There’s caramel, and the nose is sweet and candied. It has lots of vanilla, honey, oak, toffee, ginger, unfiltered apple juice, cinnamon and butterscotch (it’s quite creamy!). There’s a corn backdrop, and some toasted oak develops as it sits and the vanilla notes get larger. There also are some notes of menthol in the nose. There’s even a bit of smoke in this one, but it’s quite light like match smoke. Banana also features quite heavily, and the nose is quite similar in that respect to that of Lot no. 40 – but I would say this features more complexity, louder vanilla and oak, and less banana. 27.5/30 (92%)
Taste: Smooth and sweet entry, with apples, caramel, bananas, and warming rye which lightly burn for some time in the mouth before a slow fade and spicy, lingering, dry finish. There’s maple, and some light orange as well. Very full bodied, and perhaps not the best balance but almost overpowering. Sweet on the finish. The ginger and cinnamon feature quite nicely in this one. There’s also a bit of fragrant mint on the finish, which has the effect of lifting the whole experience slightly. 28.5/30 (95%)
Finish: fantastic! Big, muscular, long. It’s quite dry, fruity, and oaky, and some vanilla and sweetness come out after some time. There is some black pepper and some fruity, candied rye as well. 19.5/20 (98%)
Conclusion: This is one of my favourites. It has lots of complexity, and appealing flavour profile, depth, and breadth. This creamy, spicy, and fruity rye is one I thoroughly enjoy. It seems to me a bit more developed, bolder, and complex version of Lot no. 40 (also a fantastic whisky) with some softer flavours and less spice intensity. 19/20 (95%)
Overall Score: 94.5/100